c/o Ellen Sirleaf
A few notes:
Headline I’d love to see: Courageous New Yorkers Remove Sandbags from Goldman Sachs, Bring Them to the Projects pic.twitter.com/RuGizEZo
Jose, who reaches 1,000 posts on this blog tomorrow …
First, read this article. Check this excerpt:
Since she took over at the university seven years ago, the institution has spent tens of millions of dollars—and attracted much more—to revitalize this sagging Rust Belt city. It has helped refurbish parks, taken over an abandoned building where drug dealers once grew marijuana, and turned an old furniture warehouse into a new home for academic programs in art, drama, and fashion design. The university is encouraging professors to focus their research on the city, while giving free tuition to local high-school graduates.
Ms. Cantor talks about the institution as a “public good,” not an ivory tower. But some professors here say she has spent too little time and money on what goes on inside the university’s classrooms, laboratories, and libraries where traditional education and scholarship take place. Before she came, they say, Syracuse was on the way to becoming a more selective university that competed with some of the nation’s best private urban institutions. Now, the chancellor seems most intent on providing opportunities—both for this struggling city and for disadvantaged students. As a result, Syracuse is fading on the national stage, falling in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of national universities and dropping out—before it could be forced out—of the prestigious Association of American Universities, whose members are considered the nation’s top research institutions.
After reading the article, I thought: “So, let me get this straight. Syracuse University recruits from the same SAT scores, recruit from the same top of the class, builds more infrastructure, develops an amazing experiential relationship with the surrounding city, and doubles the percent of students of color, and the standards are somehow lowered? I know I’m a bit biased, but Nancy Cantor has done amazing work to ensure that Syracuse as an institution has lots more integrity in how it achieves high standards and diversity. Yes, I can highlight the -ahem- difficulties with claiming that caring more about the surrounding urban areas and issues of inclusion lead to a decrease in the academic quality of the institution, but I’d rather just stand behind those who continue to empower those who believe in quality higher education for all.”
Mr. Vilson, who is working in all aspects of education …
Let’s ignore for a second that Arizona has been the hot bed for ultra-conservative rogue policy for the last few years, and still hasn’t done a thing about those undocumented immigrants imprisoned in what networks would have us believe are cushy, metallic lounges. Gov. Jan Brewer, whose administration has been lauded for her right-wing activist stance against the wishes of the federal government, did two things today towards providing evidence to the rest of us that she’s not completely insane.
First, she vetoed a bill that would ensure that any presidential candidate would have to show their birth certificate in order to have their names submitted on the state’s ballot, also dubbed the “birther bill.” I already had a hard time with the word “birther” because it assumes that anyone who doesn’t have a birth certificate actually decided not to be born, but reluctantly did so because their mom needed space. I’m also troubled by the idea that, in a country considering a man whose personal economy hasn’t grown much in the last couple of decades and a woman who has the gaze of highway-crossing deer in a dimly-lit highway, a man legitimately born in this country and whose mother is also a United States citizen still has questions surrounding his own birth.
Secondly, she vetoed a bill that would allow guns on parts of college campuses. She said it’s because, legally, it’s sloppily written. I say because, logically, it’s sloppy thought-out. We can argue for days about the merits of having a gun on you, because I’ve had those discussions with myself. But we can’t argue that a gun has any place in any place of learning. I haven’t been to one college campus that had enough security to ensure that a random domestic terrorist can’t shoot up a public gathering that they don’t agree with. Like Jared Lee Loughner, for example. Plus, I’m sure that those college frat parties become less popular knowing that the guy with the funnel in one hand might brandish a semi-automatic in the other.
I have some of these discussions with my conservative friends and respect their right to their opinions. Some of us in this country, however, haven’t set guidelines for what we consider extreme policy. De-legitimizing a human being for the color of their skin or their non-standard name is inappropriate. So is grabbing iron irresponsibly in a place of learning. I’m happy for Jan that common sense kept her from making these bills law. Now, if only we could do something about her approval of the immigration bill, the ban on ethnic studies bill, budget cuts on transplants …
Jose, who is taking a break from education this week, because he’s taking a break from education this week …